Austin, Texas. So much Americana. So many food trucks. The Live Music Capital.
With a population that is rapidly approaching a million, and about 30 million annual visitors, Austin has grown, but still maintains a small-town feel and a quirky culture. This may be due to the large student population from the University of Texas, the influx of tech in “Silicon Hills” or even the music scene.
Truth be told, Austin’s claim to have more live music venues per capita than anywhere in the nation was back in 1991, but the city has changed. And whether this statistic is still true or not, it is famed for South by Southwest and Austin City Limits, and still has an array of musical talent playing every night of the week.
But none of these were the reasons for my visit to Austin — a bunch of us (about 35, in fact) were descending upon the city for a weekend to celebrate two of my best friends, Hima & Rusha’s 40th birthdays!
We started the weekend with a casual dinner at the
Roaring Fork, followed by a stroll down 6th street to check out the nightlife.
Saturday was the main event.
Prior to the start of that, I decided to take advantage
of the balmy 60 degree January weather and explore Lady Bird Lake — the
section of the Colorado River that runs through downtown Austin and was created back in 1960 by the building of the Longhorn Dam. While it has a primary purpose of flood control, there are plenty of recreational activities surrounding it. The
Ann and Roy Butler Trail is over 10 miles long and makes a complete circuit
around the Lake, which was a perfect place for a morning jog, although I only saw about 3 miles of it! In addition, the waterway was packed with kayakers, paddle boarders and rowers.
Following that, we had brunch at Corner Restaurant and then went on a walking tour to learn a bit about Austin’s music history.
After a bit of rest, it was time for the main event — the big birthday bash,
themed appropriately as “the Grammy’s”. After all, we were in the music capital, and
Hima insisted on karaoke, so what better way to do it but with a stylish event
and a live band!
The party went on until midnight, and then a few of us
went out in search of some live music — after all, it is the thing to do
here. It felt like every other bar had a great space and a probably-soon-to-be-famous band playing. We
ended up at Swan Dive Bar, followed by some late night tacos across the road at
On Sunday, we ended the weekend with a farewell brunch at
the hotel. In our case, we swung by to
say our goodbyes, but decided to opt for lunch at Chuy’s – a tex-mex chain that
started in Austin.